Maybe that (bogus) gun control ad in front of an audience of 100 million people wasn’t such a good idea after all.
I believe in Second Amendment rights but I don’t have particularly strong feelings on the matter, especially compared to most libertarians. All of the things that Bloomberg suggests are either already basically the law or won’t have the effects supporters claim.
As my Reason colleague Jacob Sullum has written, background checks will do nothing to stop mass shootings because “perpetrators of these attacks typically do not have disqualifying criminal or psychiatric records.” Beyond that, passing more and stricter laws generally don’t stop criminals, who don’t follow laws, from getting guns.
Researchers funded by the federal government concluded that the assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 had essentially no impact on gun violence and crime. Most important, Bloomberg simply ignores the massive declines in gun-related crimes and violence over the past 25 years.
“There were 4.6 gun murders per 100,000 people in 2017, far below the 7.2 per 100,000 people recorded in 1974,” reports Pew. Between 1993 and 2015, “rates for crimes using guns dropped from 7.3 per 1,000 people to 1.1 per 1,000 people.” The central fact in Bloomberg’s ad—”2,900 children die from gun violence every year—is off by 73 percent.
The story told in Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad is moving and sad, but I simply don’t understand why the billionaire would focus on the issue of gun violence in such a high-profile setting. In its way, it’s as off-kilter as Donald Trump’s insistence during the 2016 campaign that violent crime was somehow out of control.
Perhaps Bloomberg is trying to signal loud and clear to Democratic primary voters that despite his past affiliations as a Republican and an independent, he is in synch with Democratic fixations and policy priorities.
Maybe the “George” ad will in fact help seal the deal with Democrats, but it leaves me and, I suspect, other independent voters wondering just how different he is from other candidates who are already in the race.
I would have much rather seen a commercial that explained how Bloomberg would draw on his business experience and success as mayor of the largest city in the country to grow the economy, tackle looming entitlement cataclysms, and reduce culture-war battles.
– Nick Gillespie in Mike Bloomberg Just Lost My Vote With His Super Bowl Ad